‘Painting a path for the future’ at KC Girls Preparatory Academy | News

KANSAS CITY (KCTV5) – While students study from home, artists take over the dining room at the Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy.

As spray paint fills the air, five wall painters create portraits for the girls to look up to literally and figuratively.

“When we have heroes, when we have people, we can look up to what gives us a reason to move forward,” said enrichment teacher David Muhammad. “Because we find inspiration.”

The murals are a mixture of women living today, like 23-year-old Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and fictional women in color.

“The year has passed very quickly,” said the academy’s student Teeba Hassan. “So when I walk in and see different walls in the cafeteria, I’ll be surprised.”

The fifth and sixth graders of the KCGPA created presentations for the artists so they could give their opinion on what the murals should look like. Everything from colors to metaphors to phrases was discussed.

“To see something that either side of a student can have or have been through. Or something that is just fun, ”said the student Jasmin Chatman. “If you’re having a bad day, maybe you can look at the wall and say, ‘Oh cool’, that’s a bit of encouragement.”

“Your work manifests itself through it. This is your vision. This is yours, ”said Muhammad. “I think it will make them appreciate it and it will give them the opportunity to say, ‘Yes, if you ask me for my opinion, I’ll be in touch. Or in fact, I couldn’t even wait. I will just give you my opinion. ‘I think it laid the foundation for the rest of our school. “

KCGPA was only founded last year. With a focus on diversity, students are surrounded by their peers who look like them.

70 percent are black, 15 percent Hispanic, 7 percent identify as multiracial, 6 percent of students are white, and 1 percent are Asian.

Most of the artwork in the U.S. does not reflect these numbers.

“We have always been reminded of the beauty of those who don’t look like us,” said first-time wall painter Warren Harvey. “It was a condition to see beauty in things other than ourselves. The children who grow up with this art are conditioned and guided to see the beauty in themselves. “

“There is a celebration in which people are different and have different ideas and backgrounds as well as different ways of speaking and which can be beautiful,” said Rita-Marie Raach, teacher of science, technology and engineering in 5th grade. “You don’t have to acclimate yourself. You can express who you are. “

Harvey said he was delighted that his first mural was part of this project. Knowing who will see your art every day makes it even more meaningful.

“When you see the beauty in yourself, you show yourself differently,” said Harvey. “You can appear differently in life because you have self-respect. It is absolutely necessary. “

The school’s appetite for breaking down barriers is already working. While studying from home, Jasmin Chatman started her own slime business with the encouragement of her teachers and mother.

“I hope I will be very successful,” said Chatman.

KCGPA said the mindset of knowing that they can achieve their goals and grow in the process is all they want for their students.

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